A New York City rookie police officer was convicted of manslaughter Thursday for killing an unarmed man who was hit by a bullet that ricocheted in the stairwell of a housing project. Peter Liang, who had graduated from the police academy the year before the shooting, was patrolling a Brooklyn housing project on Nov. 20, 2014, when his gun went off in a stairwell and a bullet struck a wall before hitting 28-year-old Akai Gurley. Gurley was walking down the stairs with his girlfriend when he was hit. Liang was also found guilty of official misconduct for declining to help Gurley after he was struck. The surprising verdict underscores a shift in public opinion on police killings in the wake of a string of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of officers. Liang faces up to 15 years in prison.
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